The North Shore region of Massachusetts can be found just north of Greater Boston, along the Atlantic coast. It includes a variety of small and affluent towns, each with their own history dating back centuries.
- 1 Lynn — "City of sin" no longer; today Lynn is known for its arts & culture, large immigrant communities, and oceanfront views.
- 2 Salem — Location of the infamous 1692 Salem witch trials, many finely preserved 17th and 18th century buildings remain.
- 3 Newburyport — Coastal town and popular tourist destination with beautiful natural areas, water activities and fine dining.
- 4 Topsfield — Best known for the Topsfield Fair and Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.
- 5 Essex — Shipbuilding history and antique shoppes
- 6 Gloucester — Artist colony and historical fishing center
- 7 Manchester-by-the-Sea — home of popular Singing Beach
- 8 Rockport — Scenic artist colony and Motif No. 1
- 9 Beverly —
- 10 Danvers —
- 11 Hamilton —
- 12 Ipswich —
- 13 Marblehead —
- 14 Nahant —
- 15 Peabody —
- 16 Salisbury —
A car can be useful outside of the Salem city center, given the infrequent and limited coverage of the commuter rail and bus service, but consider the commuter rail if a station is nearby. Traffic congestion on the highways increases the closer to Boston and Salem you are.
By public transit
- MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority), ☏ +1 617-222-3200, +1 617-222-5146 (TTY). Varies, 5AM-1AM daily. One of the busiest rail systems in the United States, the MBTA Commuter Rail runs the Newburyport/Rockport Line which provides service to the area roughly every hour. The MBTA runs bus service to Marblehead, Salem, Swampscott, Lynn, and Revere. Please see Boston § By public transit for additional information. Bus $1.70, subway $2.40, commuter rail $2.40-13.25, ferry $2.40-9.75.
- 1 MVRTA (Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority), ☏ +1 978-469-6878. M-Sa 6AM-6PM. Runs buses daily throughout the Merrimack Valley as well as a limited number of routes connecting to Newburyport and Salisbury Beach on the North Shore.
By public transit
- CATA (Cape Ann Transportation Authority), ☏ +1 978-283-7916. M-Sa 9AM-5PM. Provides some bus service, but coverage and timing can be quite limited. $1-3.
The North Shore can be an extremely charming locale, and offers several memorable routes. The Northern Strand Trail ends in Lynn, and from there the East Coast Greenway can take you to Salem and beyond. The Cape Ann loop out by Rockport is on the bucket list of many a road cyclist.
- Essex Coastal Scenic Byway — A 90 mi (140 km) scenic drive along the Atlantic Ocean, where you'll pass scores of historical sights and breathtaking views.
- St. Peter's Fiesta — Last weekend in June, Gloucester. Watch scores of manly men walk "the Greasy Pole" and unceremoniously fall into the ocean on their quest to capture the flag and secure bragging rights for the day.
- Topsfield Fair — Last weekend in September, Topsfield. America's oldest county fair began in 1818 as a one-day cattle show. Today local farmers show their stuff at a variety of exhibition halls. Cows, goats, bunnies, chickens; fruits and flowers, even bees! The Great Pumpkin Weigh Off is a highlight, with modern winners tipping the scales at over 2,000 pounds.
- Halloween — October 31st, Salem. Perhaps the largest Halloween celebration in the world, Salem welcomes half a million costumed party-goers annually. Visit "Witch City" to join the fun, and experience a variety of parties, parades, tours, and attractions; haunted or otherwise.
- Merrimack Valley — Along the mighty Merrimack river you'll find 19th-century industrial mill towns blended with modern suburbs, rural farms, and quaint orchards.
- Greater Boston — The most populated region in New England, this is the urbanized collection of towns that tightly surround the eponymous city.
- Seacoast (New Hampshire) — New Hampshire really makes the most of its only outlet on the sea.